This is the fourth book I’ve read as part of the Re-Read Challenge.
WHEN I First Read
The special thing about this book is that it was given to me for my 14th birthday by my mom. Now she’s not much of a reader herself but she has an impeccable ability to pick good books for me. Without her, I would never have read this one and I’ll always be grateful to her for it.
WHAT I Remember
The most vivid memory I have pertaining to this book is how much I cried my eyes out when reading from an autistic child’s point of view. Christopher Boone is a wonderfully endearing character who really puts readers through the paces emotionally. The protagonists relationship with his parents is where the emotional appeal heavily stems from. Though Christopher himself can’t process or understand emotions well, we, as readers, understand them for him.
Some of the things Christopher says are just so spot on. Supposedly like his mother, my father was cremated and this particular paragraph in the book was just beautiful and reassuring in ways only people who’ve lost someone can truly understand:
But Mother was cremated. This means that she was put into a coffin and burnt and ground up and turned into ash and smoke. I do not know what happens to the ash and I couldn’t ask at the crematorium because I didn’t go to the funeral. But the smoke goes out of the chimney and into the air and sometimes I look up into the sky and I think that there are molecules of Mother up there, or in clouds over Africa or the Antarctic, or coming down as rain in the rain forests in Brazil, or in snow somewhere.
I also liked how the chapters weren’t ordered in cardinal numbers but rather prime numbers. It only reinforces Christopher’s character and his choices in telling his story.
WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time isn’t a book full of intrigue and mystery as it may sound but is so captivating in its voice, that of a fifteen year old autistic child.
This is a unique book, tugging at your heart strings and making you laugh as well. It’s certainly been a while since a book had that sort of effect on me and I thought I’d revisit it. Since all my books are back home, I jumped at the chance to check The Curious Incident out of my university library, overjoyed that they had it.
HOW I Felt After Re-Reading
There are some books you can read at the bus stop or in class when your attention tends to drift, books meant to pass time with like old friends. Then there are some books you have an intimate relation with, ones you can’t bear to read in public because they expose every raw emotion you’re capable of feeling. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is one of the latter, initiating what is dangerously close to book PDA.
The first time, I wept more when reading Christopher’s mothers letter than I did watching Titanic and I wept just the same for the second time. The struggle comes from empathizing with Christopher, his father AND his mother. I so appreciate Christopher’s and his father’s relationship and I understand how his mother felt overwhelmed in her situation. I can’t find blame any of them for how things had fallen apart because it was realistic in how there is no single antagonist in negative life events. It’s a culmination of different factors.
Re-reading this book as a psychology student in university brings a different sort of appreciation to Mark Haddon’s attention to detail, what with the math problems and diagrams inserted within the narrative, and at the inspiring blend of writing flair and psychological fact.
Though Haddon never directly refers to autism through out the book, you can piece together the symptoms of the disorder which makes for deeper investment in the story. Although this work is fictional, it is does not grossly deviate from the reality of autism and perhaps that is why people may not necessarily love this book. I’ve heard some saying it’s not gripping enough or that it’s too jumbled. I think that’s exactly why it works so well.
WOULD I Re-Read Again
Not only would I re read it with a pack of tissues on my bedside table but I would recommend this book to anyone within earshot of me! In fact check it out on Goodreads here